Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (25) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (25) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 13 performances by Todd Bowles, Bryce Petty, Bilal Powell, Wesley Johnson and the offensive line, Quincy Enunwa, Muhammad Wilkerson and Darron Lee, and the special teams, among others...

Quarterbacks

Bent: Having muddled his way through a mostly uneven performance, Bryce Petty finally put together a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. It wasn't pretty and he wasn't perfect, but he made enough plays to keep the chains moving. When the team lined up for a two-point conversion to cut it to a three-point game, Petty kept the ball on a read-option look, wriggled out of an Ahmad Brooks tackle on the edge and corkscrewed into the end zone.

I can break down each of Petty's throws, how he read the defense and his movement in and out of the pocket, but nothing is more of a game-changer than what he showed on that play. Watch out, NFL … Petty has moxie!

The trouble with moxie is that it actually has a negative reputation. Fans associate it with the Brooks Bollingers and Greg McElroys of the world. Displaying moxie means you showed grit and determination to overcome your shortcomings, rather than being seen as something which will help a player's longer-term development as they improve upon their skills.

Maybe Petty will break the mold, but yesterday was never going to be about him establishing himself as a potential starter already. Even if he passed for 500 yards, people would still be attributing that to how weak the opponent was or writing it off as a one-off like Matt Flynn had that one time with the Packers. What this did show us though was that, even if you don't like his chances of one day being an NFL starter, Petty could at least develop into the kind of back-up that won't kill you if forced into short-term action.

Whatever the long-term ramifications of Petty's new-found attribute, the come-from-behind win produced a rare feel-good moment in this lost season. I can't imagine he'd have generated the same exuberant reaction from his teammates if the Jets started well and hung on for a 23-17 win, so the fact they started so poorly may have worked out for the best.

The worst possible start saw the slot cornerback jump the route on Petty's first pass for an easy interception, leading to the go-ahead touchdown on the next play. Starting Petty out with a quick-drop stop route makes some sense in terms of getting him into an early rhythm and setting a platform from which they can do some other things. However, it's exactly what they did the last two times he played and the 49ers were ready for it. Throwing an interception there probably slowed down their plans to gradually open up the playbook for him.

Rather than a bad read, this was probably more a case of Petty underestimating the speed of defensive backs and their ability to quickly diagnose plays at the NFL level. It was probably the biggest welcome-to-the-NFL moment he's had so far, but if it gives him a better idea of what he can and can't get away with and he doesn't repeat the error, that can help his development.

That's essentially what happened over the rest of the game. While he still took a few risks and was inaccurate or late some of the time, Petty didn't repeat that mistake and was turnover-free the rest of the way. He gradually settled into a rhythm and made some confident throws in clutch situations to keep drives alive, notably a fourth down conversion after he kept the play alive in the pocket and a downfield throw across his body after he rolled out to extend the play.

We could nit-pick his performance and numbers in more detail, but the most important takeaways from this game are that Petty built some confidence, the team rallied around him and he absolutely showed progress not just from last week, but also from the start of the game to the end. While it's not lost on me that the win came over a 49ers team that is losing to everyone, the fact that he got the win with a threadbare offensive line, an underperforming defense and some key skill position guys missing is almost enough to counteract that. These next few games will be much tougher, but that's an ideal challenge for him as he tries to keep progressing.

I still don't think these next few games are going to have that much of an impact upon their plans for the position in 2017, but at least it should be more fun to watch over the rest of the season than the alternatives would have been.

Running Backs

Bent: After a curious decision to barely feature Bilal Powell last week, he ended up as the number one back due to a Matt Forté injury early on. Maybe being kept fresh last week helped him because Powell delivered as the number one, rushing for 121 of his 145 yards after half time and scoring two touchdowns including the game winner.

While Powell has only rushed for more than 80 yards one other time in his career, he fell short of his career-high which saw him gain 149 yards in a 2013 win over the Bills. However, he did set career highs in terms of yards from scrimmage (179) and carries (29).

Powell's tough effort to break the plane got the Jets back into the game in the fourth quarter and then he finished it off by breaking into the clear for a 19-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime. He also had four other plays - one on a pass reception - that went for 10 yards or more and did a good job of picking up the blitz.

As impressive as this was, we should not forget that the 49ers have the worst run defense in the NFL, giving up over 170 yards per game and almost five yards per carry. It will therefore be interesting to see how close they can come to repeating that output over the next three weeks. The Jets ultimately gained 13 first downs on the ground, having only had two (both by the since-released CJ Spiller) in the previous game.

Depending on his knee injury, we might not see Forté again this year. He rushed three times for eight yards before going down and missing out on the chance to potentially have a big game himself. If that's it for Forté, he'll end up with a career low in rushing yards (792) and receiving numbers (29-256). He has only averaged 3.7 yards per carry but scored eight touchdowns.

When the Jets made the move to get Forté, I expect they were hoping for him to make a similar impact to that which Brandon Marshall made last year. Clearly, he's fallen well short of that and, while I've been impressed with his effort, he hasn't looked consistently sharp all year and obviously hasn't done enough to fill the leadership void this team apparently has.

The Jets re-signed Khiry Robinson earlier this week, so it will be interesting to see whether he gets a chance over the next few weeks. With him not healthy enough to go this week, recent practice squad promotee Brandon Wilds was called upon to relieve Powell a few times. He gained a couple of yards on each of his two carries, but missed an assignment on a blitz pick-up that led to a sack.

Offensive Line

Bent: With Nick Mangold, Ryan Clady and Breno Giacomini all gone from the line-up, this was an interesting match-up with the league's worst run defense. The Jets were able to rush for 188 yards at an average of 4.7 per carry, although there were a lot of runs stuffed at or behind the line. Predictably, pass protection was an issue, as Petty was sacked for the sixth time less than halfway into the third quarter. However, they settled down and kept him clean for the rest of the game, although you might attribute that to Petty himself showing improved pocket presence as his confidence and comfort level grew.

Pro Football Focus have been raving about the performance of Wesley Johnson who has a chance to earn himself some money now that the starting center job is his for the remainder of the season. They assigned him one of the highest run blocking grades a Jets player has achieved all season and didn't attribute any pressure to him. It seems incredible that he's come so far after the Jets basically dumped him last September when Eagles back-up Beau Allen dominated him in the final preseason game.

Johnson's run blocking performance was easily the best we've seen from him this year as he did a good job of controlling the point of attack and blocking in space. He blocked his man to the ground on a few plays and looked particularly good on zone blocking assignments.

While he allowed penetration a couple of times, he did a good job of not getting stood up at the point of attack and only once did he miss a block to allow a run to be blown up. Although PFF gave him a clean bill of health in pass protection, there were three plays in the first half where he allowed his man into the backfield, one of which led to a sack. His man also recorded a half-sack on another first half play, although that was more of a coverage sack, mostly attributable to Petty's indecisiveness.

It's going to be very interesting to see whether he can come close to repeating that performance against three much sturdier defensive fronts over the next three weeks. If he can, that's going to at the very least entice the Jets to give the restricted free agent an original round tender. That would have fifth-round compensation attached to it, if another team signed him to an offer sheet." to "If he can, that's likely to make the Jets consider tendering the restricted free agent, perhaps at the second round level

While he wouldn't accumulate the same kind of run-blocking grades, it was James Carpenter who impressed me the most in the running game. When you get blocked by Carpenter, you stay blocked and he opened up the "Carpal Tunnel" several times on the day, notably on the game-winning touchdown where he walled off the right side of the defensive line with a perfectly executed reach block. On another memorable play, Carpenter pulled left and had to shove Ben Ijalana out of the way before making his block in space.

Ijalana had another rough game in pass protection, as he struggled to hold up against the bull rush and was burned outside by speed rushes a few times, including once for a sack. He also was called for a holding penalty and a false start, although the latter was probably actually on Carpenter (who blamed Petty). Ijalana also struggled in the running game, as he was beaten inside for a tackle in the backfield and badly missed his block in space on an end around that was blown up by his man.

Brian Winters was also flagged once, although it should have been twice, as he was clearly the player to have false started on a penalty announced as being on Brent Qvale. Winters had a slow start but made a good impact in the running game after half time. He was beaten one other time for a pressure.

Qvale was the player I was most interested to see this week, as he was re-inserted into the starting line-up due to Giacomini's injury. Other than Carpenter, Qvale is the only starter from yesterday's patchwork line that is still under contract next year. Early results were not pretty, as Qvale's man knocked him onto his back and finished off the sack on Petty. He settled down in pass protection and ultimately made some positive contributions in the running game, although one of those saw him lucky not to be called for a hold.

Qvale limped off down the stretch, giving us a bonus look at rookie Brandon Shell. Shell showed a couple of flashes, blocking down on his man to drive him to the inside on one play and peeling off a double team to make a second level block on another.

All six of the sacks surrendered came after more than 2.5 seconds, so perhaps they were more attributable to Petty taking too long to get rid of the ball or being prepared to eat the ball rather than risk a mistake. They can mitigate that by getting rid of the ball quickly in future, but as the interception on his first throw showed, the Jets need to avoid being too predictable in doing so.

Receivers

BentRobby Anderson continues to break out, falling just one yard short of his first 100-yard receiving game, although he did surpass 100 yards from scrimmage if you take into account his 12 rushing yards. Anderson looks like he has the potential to become a thousand-yard receiver at the NFL level. He is producing at that level over the past four games with 263 receiving yards.

Anderson's star quality continues to manifest itself, as he made an amazing leaping grab over a defender down the sideline and then set up the game winning score with another tough grab down the field. He also contributed as a blocker on the game-winning touchdown run. He provided his weekly reminder that he's still a rookie, failing to haul in a catchable high throw down the field, but his development continues to be one of the biggest bright spots of this disappointing season.

As good as Anderson's leaping grab was, Quincy Enunwa had him beaten for catch of the day, laying out to get one hand to the ball and tip it to himself for a rolling grab. That looked like it was going to be intercepted but Enunwa's athleticism not only prevented that, but also enabled him to come down with it. Enunwa had a pedestrian three catches for 29 yards, but is really starting to establish himself as a playmaker who can be a option in clutch situations.

Marshall limped his way through most of the second half but that might have been a blessing in disguise as the offense tends to look less one-dimensional when he isn't heavily featured. Marshall still made a nice over the shoulder catch and was unlucky not to be able to get both feet down on another sideline pass.

Charone Peake didn't play much, but came up big on fourth down, staying alive and finding space at the right moment when Petty moved around in the pocket to extend the play. On another play, late in the game, he almost came up with a great low catch, but was unable to prevent the nose of the football from hitting the turf.

Brandon Bostick was injured early in the second half, which is a shame as the Jets have been featuring the tight ends increasingly since Kellen Davis was placed on injured reserve. They combined for 52 yards on five catches yesterday. Bostick had made perhaps the nicest play of his Jets career so far with a diving grab for a first down.

The Jets continue to gradually work Austin Seferian-Jenkins into the mix as had three first down catches, including one where he dragged a couple of tacklers past the marker.  Seferian-Jenkins was also open for an easy first down on the play where Petty rolled out in overtime and instead threw downfield to Anderson. He seemed to be the one responsible for the illegal formation penalty that almost knocked the Jets out of field goal range while trailing late though.

Eric Tomlinson has been impressive at times in the running game and on screen passes but he struggled in pass protection and was called for a false start in an inconsistent display yesterday. If Bostick is out, Tomlinson and Seferian-Jenkins complement each other well so each will have a chance to impress over the rest of the season.

Defensive Line

Bent: The defense got off to a terrible start this week, giving up a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. That flat start continued until late in the first half as the first five drives ended with two touchdowns and three field goal attempts. The defense galvanized thereafter, though, as the 49ers gained just 113 yards on their next eight drives and never got back inside the Jets' 35-yard line. Colin Kaepernick completed just 4-of-11 passes for 17 yards in the second half, but the run defense was poor throughout, surrendering 248 yards including 155 on Carlos Hyde's most productive five carries.

Something interesting happened down the stretch though.

After the Jets scored to cut the 49ers' lead to 17-14, Muhammad Wilkerson suddenly awoke from a month-long slumber and put together his most dominant series of the season. Todd Bowles recently said that Wilkerson's explosiveness was starting to return, which I was skeptical about, but this was the first evidence of that we've seen since the bye week because he exploded into the backfield three straight times and drew a hold to help force a punt.

Once the Jets got the ball back, I was hoping they would tie the game so we could see if he would continue to take over the game once the 49ers had the ball back, but the Jets came out in a sub-package with Wilkerson not in the line-up. However, in overtime, he again penetrated to help blow up the 4th-and-short run that set up the winning score. He was noticeably fired up at the end of the game when the Jets clinched the win, too.

Wilkerson was in on three run stuffs including one for a loss and had one pressure so the performance still fell well short of what you'd normally expect from him. However, in a week where there have been reports that the Jets are not happy with their leadership, it was encouraging to see him step up and take over the game much as you'd expect him to when healthy.

Wilkerson was a game-time decision, so he's evidently still not 100%. That could lead some to suggest that he only performed better because he was motivated to give a good effort, thereby exposing the fact that he hadn't been giving the same kind of effort over the past several games. Whatever the reason, which could include an improved comfort level within the role he had yesterday, it was a reminder of the kind of dominant player Wilkerson was before this year and hopefully a sign that he's on his way back to being that kind of player again.

Despite Wilkerson's struggles, Leonard Williams has been consistently productive and added to his team-leading sack total with another half sack yesterday. However, it was a worryingly ineffective performance from Williams who was driven off the line several times and didn't have a tackle in the running game until the last minute of regulation. He added a couple of pressures, but overall it was his least productive game of the season and had me worried that he'd been afflicted with the same malaise that seems to have held back Wilkerson over the last month or so.

Sheldon Richardson is another player whose inconsistent production has been troubling, but he made some good plays yesterday, including a tackle in the backfield to force a punt before the Jets tied the game. He also added three pressures as a pass rusher.

With Steve McLendon out again, it would be easy to attribute the 49ers rushing success to that, but Deon Simon showed significant promise in his place. Williams, Wilkerson and Richardson were all driven off the line a few times, but Simon held up much better. He drew a holding penalty with penetration, had one effective bull rush as a pass rusher and was in on four run stuffs including the fourth down stop in overtime.

Simon didn't see action until half-way through the second quarter and while things definitely improved thereafter, he was on the field on four of Hyde's six longest runs. Nevertheless, the promise he showed on some of the plays he made is something to build on heading into next season.

Finally, Anthony Johnson was in for a few snaps and got into the backfield well on one pass rush attempt.

Linebackers

BentDarron Lee is one of the players you'd most like to see encouraging signs from over the final month of the season. However, for the second week in a row, he had a rough first half. Lee had three missed tackles - a season high - before half-time and found himself caught inside on several running plays. He was also beaten for a big gain down the seam.

However, after half time, he avoided any more mistakes and, although he had a quiet game in terms of impact plays, it was good to see that progress, especially after a first half that almost had me wishing Julian Stanford was still on the roster. Almost.

David Harris had a solid game alongside Lee, leading the Jets in tackles and getting in on a handful of stops at or near the line. He also added one pressure. Harris was blocked out of a couple of plays at the second level in the first half, but seemed to avoid blocks better thereafter.

Rookie Jordan Jenkins continues to provide the Jets with solid play, but this week it was good to see him starting to make more impact-type plays. He stuffed one run, tracked a receiver out to the flat for a big hit and picked up half a sack, the first of his career, on a blitz up the middle. It wasn't a mistake-free performance from Jenkins though, as he lost contain once and tackled the wrong guy on a read-option play.

Mike Catapano started, but was once again ineffective. He also lost contain on one run. By the end of the game, Freddie Bishop - who was recently activated off the practice squad - was getting reps ahead of him and flashed some playmaking ability when he forced a fumble on a running play. He also had one pressure and was in on a run stop. Bishop also jumped offside on third down and he lost contain once, although that looked like a hold.

Bruce Carter saw some brief action on defense, but the Jets instead opted to use Doug Middleton - another player recently activated off the practice squad - in a sub-package linebacker role. Middleton, who is a safety by trade, brought good energy as he had a pressure and was in on a run stuff, but also seemed to be slightly out of position in coverage on a couple of plays underneath.

Defensive Backs

Bent: The most significant development in the secondary this week - other than the injuries to Marcus Gilchrist and Buster Skrine - was the fact that Juston Burris seems to have moved ahead of Darryl Roberts on the depth chart.

Burris, the rookie selected in the fourth round of April's draft, had looked shaky in limited action to this point, but has obviously been developing in practice because the team gave him an extensive workload and he responded well. Skrine's injury probably elevated him from fourth corner into the nickel back role so he perhaps played more than originally planned, but he responded well either way. Roberts was limited to special teams action.

Burris forced three punts with a break-up and two open field tackles on third down and was in good position on one other play in coverage. Kaepernick was 1-for-6 on passes beyond 10 yards down the field with only one of those more than 20 yards and the only completion being down the seam to a tight end so the 49ers never really tested Burris or any of the other corners. Nevertheless, it was still a positive sign to see him hold up so well.

Marcus Williams was making his return and contributed a first half sack. He didn't give up anything in coverage although he was a little fortunate on two plays where he was half-beaten and the pass was inaccurate.

Prior to getting injured, Skrine had been having a rough game as he was dragged into the end zone on the first play, called for defensive holding once and burned for a big gain across the field by Jeremy Kerley.

Darrelle Revis had a really quiet game as the 49ers simply didn't look his way until late in the game, when Revis broke up a slant pattern. That's sufficient to make this one of his best games of the season, which for $17 million a year obviously isn't good enough.

Gilchrist's injury looked bad and probably means he's unlikely to be fully available for most of next year's offseason workouts. He had a couple of touchdown saving tackles but gave up a first down in coverage and missed a couple of tackles. It was noticeable that he was coaching the likes of Middleton on the field so it's going to be a challenge for the secondary to cope back there without him. Nevertheless, they held up well without him so it could end up being something that forces Calvin Pryor or Rontez Miles to take on more of a quarterback-of-the-secondary role which could serve to accelerate their development.

Pryor had a pretty quiet game, although he came close to making a few plays when he missed a tackle in the backfield and botched an attempt to recover a fumble. Miles was even quieter but avoided any obvious mistakes.

Special teams

BentNick Folk made a big contribution this week, nailing a late game-tying field goal from over 50 yards away. Folk was 3-for-3 as Phil Dawson uncharacteristically missed twice for the 49ers, otherwise the Jets probably would have lost.

Rookie punter Lac Edwards continues to struggle though. He landed five of his six punts inside the 20 which sounds good, but actually none of those were landed inside the 10 and three of them were at the 19 or 20-yard line. Four of his six punts were less than 40 yards and he hasn't had a net punt of 45 yards since the second quarter of the Rams game - four weeks and 19 punts ago.

With the Jeremy Ross experiment over and Jalin Marshall still out, Nick Marshall took over return duties. He looked relatively comfortable fielding punts, although let's not forget that he muffed one against the Jets while playing for Jacksonville last year. Marshall didn't have much success, but looked sharp on the opening kick-off when his 53-yard runback was called back due to a hold.

That hold came courtesy of new addition Arthur Brown who was making his Jets debut. With six players ruled out due to injury, all of the new guys had to suit up, otherwise the Jets would have had to activate Christian Hackenberg. Later on, Josh Martin was also assessed a penalty for holding.

The Jets were also lucky on one punt where the ball almost deflected off Peake's leg as he was blocking the gunner.

In coverage, the Jets held up well with Miles and Carter combining on a good special team stop. Burris overpursued and missed the tackle on a punt though. He does a great job of getting downfield but still needs to improve his technique when breaking down. It was good to see Devin Smith out there as a gunner too, although he played just one offensive snap.

Tags: BGA

Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
		  (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Jets WR Terrelle Pryor was one of the most notable players missing at the team's first OTA on Tuesday, and it wasn't because he didn't want to show up. 

Pryor, who had ankle surgery last November, has reportedly suffered another ankle injury this offseason, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 28-year-old converted receiver played in just nine games last season with the Redskins before a season-ending ankle injury ruined his one-year, "prove it" deal in Washington. He signed another with the Jets this offseason worth $4.5 million.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Jets took the field in Florham Park on Tuesday to kick off their first OTA session leading up to training camp in June. 

Of course, the biggest storyline heading into the new year for Gang Green is what will Sam Darnold's role be in his rookie season. Here he is already getting work in as practice begins.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE VIDEO

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New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

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With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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